The autonomous car parts and technology market is forecast to reach US48.5 billion in 2021, continuing a 32% high annual growth rate on average thanks to the development of autonomous vehicle technology. The autonomous vehicle market is expected to become a land of opportunities for small and medium-sized Korean semiconductor fabless companies which design and sell semiconductors without production facilities.
The Korea Semiconductor Industry Association held a breakfast seminar of the System Semiconductors Forum under the theme of "Analysis of Value Chain of and Market Forecast on Core Parts Technology for Autonomous Vehicles" at Seoul El Tower on November 29.
"Currently, the market of autonomous vehicles is only US$12.2 billion but will grow to US$48.5 billion in 2025," said Park In-woo, an analyst with Mirae Asset Daewoo. “First, the sensor, camera radar and LiDAR markets will grow in a short period of time and the vehicle communication market will follow suit."
Park selected LiDAR sensors, HD maps (high-definition digital map), and driver/vehicle interface (HVI) module as new growth technologies.
Among them, the LiDAR sensor is a device that measures the distance, speed and physical properties of an object by shooting a laser unlike a radar that detects an object with a frequency. Currently, it is not easy to apply a LiDAR sensor because the device runs eight million won. But America's Velodyne and Quanergy, Germany's Ibeo and Israel's Innoviz said they would lower prices to the 100,000 won level by 2020. Although there was little presence of Korean companies in the autonomous navigation sensor market, it was significant that LG Electronics recently landed an order for front mono cameras for Daimler's next-generation Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) with its own technology, Park added.
An HD map also holds the key to autonomous driving. In order to realize technology above partial autonomous drive technology, it is necessary to provide information about moving objects within a radius of 2km to 3 km while reducing the error range of three-dimensional spatial information to 10 cm or shorter. Therefore, an HD map and a high-precision GPS sensor are required.
Analyst Park explained that in the HD map sector, start-ups such as HERE and Tamtam were outclassing Google. "We should create real maps and services based on data and focus on improving lateral positioning accuracy and developing real-time updates," Park said. “For this goal, the government’s roles are important.” In Korea, SK Telecom is cooperating with Nvidia, and Hyundai MN Soft is cooperating with Mobileye. Japan is concentrating on the development of its own technology such as establishing joint ventures for HD maps together with IT companies and car makers.
HVI modules are devices through which people and machines communicate with each other. For example, in the case of a partial autonomous driving situation, HVI modules are garnering attention as an accident can occur when an autonomous driving right is not transferred directly to a driver when AI gives the right to the driver. The HVI market excluding displays was only US$ 800 million last year but is expected to run to US$ 2 billion in 2021.
In addition, the market of in-vehicle network (IVN)-based integrated autonomous drive control units (DCUs) was selected as a promising market for high-level autonomous driving. The market was being led by emerging semiconductor companies such as Nvidia and Xilinx rather than giant semiconductor companies such as Intel and a key point was who would take the lead in standard platforms, Park said.